Chesterton Tribune



CHS Softball gets plenty of offense, trounces Valpo for Sectional title

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It was a sluggish start defensively for the Chesterton softball team, but the offense made sure that wouldn’t determine the outcome.

The Class 4A Sectional host Trojans piled up 17 hits and scored at least a run in every inning in a 13-4 win over Valparaiso to clinch the school’s ninth sectional title on Thursday. It is the first crown for Chesterton since 2012.

“I know for me, it's a weight lifted," Chesterton coach LouAnn Hopson said. “It kind of felt like we were the favorite last year going into the sectional and we stumbled, so it feels good to get the monkey off the back. We kept talking to the girls all last week that the opponents in our sectional weren't the ranked ones we had been playing and that we could win this.”

Chesterton (25-6) has piled up 23 runs and 29 hits in its past two games.

“We work so hard on them just trying to be confident when they hit," Hopson said. "We’ve worked so hard on that and just knowing what your job is and what you're looking to hit."

After Valparaiso scored the opening run of the game on a Maya Seifert double, Kari LaFreniere responded in the bottom half of the frame with a triple off the right field fence that scored Cassidy Grimm, who had singled.

LaFreniere was 3-for-4 and her two-out knock was the first of what turned out to be many clutch base hits for the Trojans.

"I've been hitting very solidly lately. I guess you could say I'm riding a little bit of a hot streak," LaFreniere said. "This was a really big confidence boost because since freshman year, we've always lost in the sectional. I'm proud how we came through (Thursday). We really worked well as a team and it showed.”

Chesterton's first eight runs all came with two outs.

"Hitting's contagious," Lexi Benko said. "We were all just so enthusiastic (Thursday) and we found our groove. We've worked so hard this season and we definitely earned this."

"We just got on rolls when we had two outs and we were going up there and swinging hard,” Anderson added.

Benko was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and also picked up the win. The sophomore tossed four innings and allowed one earned run on three hits in relief of starter Lauren Anderson.

When Benko entered in the fourth, she was welcomed by a Makayla Ferrari inside-the-park home run that sent Trojans left fielder Maddy Hamady crashing into the fence. She then responded by allowing only one hit in the next three innings.

“I thought I recovered well and did my job. That’s all I wanted to do when I came in, do my job,” Benko said.

Chesterton added three runs in the fourth, two in the fifth and another three in the sixth on a Hailey Johansen RBI single and Anderson’s first career varsity home run. Anderson’s blast was of the two-run variety as she finished 3-of-4 with three RBIs.

"(Valparaiso pitcher Emily Glover) was throwing outside a lot, so I was ready for her to go out there again," Anderson said of the home run. "It's awesome to win and I'm very happy. It was a good game in all and everyone played very well. We struggled a little bit in the beginning, but we powered through it.”

Shelby Grimm added three RBIs and was 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot. Maddie Snemis was 2-for-3 from the No. 2 spot and Johansen was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Eight Trojans recorded base hits.

Ferrari was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI to lead Valparaiso (13-10). Seifert also went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Paige Knight added an RBI single.

"Chesterton tagged it today and not only did they tag it, they came up in key spots and delivered,” Valpo coach Tracy Corneil said. “I'll give them credit because they really did a great job in clutch situations and got hits when they needed them.”

IHSAA Sectional

Chesterton 13, Valparaiso 4



Valparaiso 101 110 0 -- 4 8 3

Chesterton 122 323 x -- 13 17 4

2B -- Lauren Anderson, Lexi Benko (C); Maya Seifert, Emily Glover (V). 3B -- Kari LaFreniere (C). HR --- Makayla Ferrari (V); Anderson (C). Pitching summary -- Valparaiso -- Emily Glover (5 2/3 IP, 17 H, 13 R, 11 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO); Emily Petro (1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO). Chesterton -- Anderson (3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO); Benko (4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO). WP -- Benko. LP -- Glover.


Posted 5/26/2017





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